Sloppy Joes on San José

March 19, 2012 By: erik Category: Food, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Religion, Spain 371 views

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Sloppy JoeI’ve invented a new American in Spain tradition! It’s a little similar to my Fourth of July Hamburgerfest. Today, you see, is San José, Saint Joseph’s Day. All the days have saints assigned to them here in Catholic Spain, and March 19 happens to be assigned to Saint Joseph, the poor old shepherd who, according to dogma, never got to have sex with his wife and still had to raise a son that was not his own. That’s rough.

When we were watching a silly American movie recently, my wife saw some kids in the film eating sloppy joes and commented that it’s been years and years since we’ve had any, and that we should eat some soon. Due to unforeseen circumstances this past weekend, we ended up with a couple extra pounds of ground beef in the fridge, so I thought it would be the perfect time to make some joes, and what better day to do it on than Saint Joe’s Day?

Sloppy Joe

On a toasted sesame seed bun!


Homemade french fries!

Beer, Fries and Sloppy Joe

And some faux-german beer from Barcelona to round out a healthy American meal.

Because of Saint Joseph’s status as surrogate father, today is also when Spaniards celebrate Father’s Day. At daycare, my daughter made me a little paper necktie that says, “¡Te quiero, Papá!” and a card that reads, “De tu mano voy a aprender lo que mañana voy a ser.” (From your hand, I will learn what tomorrow I will be). Both are scribbled on in a variety of crayon colors. Silly, but doggone it if a tear didn’t well up.

Father's Day in Spain

A proud father.

  • Anonymous

    How about a recipe for the Sloppy Joe’s?  (If you want a cultural exchange, I’ll give you some tips on the New Mexican classic, “Frito Pie”.)

    I do take some umbrage at your “faux German” slur.  Damm is, if anything, a faux French beer, since Alsace, the region from whence the immigrant responsible came, was French at the time.  Were you Joe’s “faux American”? By your argument they would be.  

    For a variety of commercial and political reasons, there is a fair amount of history of Franco/Germano-Catalan migration, and one of the happy side effects is a couple of Spain’s finest beers (e.g. Damm, Moritz (another Alsacian), et al).  

    This beermaking tradition is paying off in the form of a fairly joyful growth in microbreweries, so it’s probably better to just label your Damm (as my mother always says, “that Damn Star”) a Spanish or Catalan beer.


    • I went to the English Voll-Damm wikipedia page and read “This robust, full-bodied beer emulates a German-style ‘Vollbier'”. The words “emulate” and “German-style” lead to my usage of the French prefix. I wouldn’t say I made any “argument” at all. But thank you for taking offense on behalf of your Catalonian brothers and setting the record straight.

      Voll-Damm is by far my favorite of the four beers on offer at my neighborhood grocer.

  • What a great idea!  That looks so good!  I haven’t had that in years and years, not since we’ve lived here, I think.  And, wow, Nora looks so much like you!

  • Happy belated Father’s Day!